The Regulation Amending the Commercial Advertising and Unfair Commercial Practices Regulation has recently been published in the Official Gazette dated 04.01.2017 and numbered 29938 ("Amendment Regulation") and it amends the Commercial Advertising and Unfair Commercial Practices Regulation published in the Official Gazette dated 10.01.2015 and numbered 29232 ("Regulation"). The Amendment Regulation has introduced significant modifications to comparative advertisements, burden of proof and advertisements relating to electronic communication services and has postponed the enforcement of the provision which allows direct comparative advertisements through indicating the titles, trade names, logos or distinguishing shapes and expressions of a competitor but does not allow a testimony, until 01.01.2018.
As per the amended version of the provision related to comparative advertisements, the comparative advertisements shall not violate the principles determined by the Advertisement Board.
Comparative advertisements are currently prohibited for food supplements; and with the new paragraph of the Amendment Regulation, the issues that are deemed as health declarations under the relevant legislations, may not be subjected to a comparison in the nutrition advertisements. Also, price comparison shall not be made in the advertisements relating to the sectors in which the pricing regulations and effective market power obligations are determined by administrative authorities.
Pursuant to the Amendment Regulation, the advertisers will bear the burden of proof for the claims stated in the advertisements with scientifically valid information and documentation provided that under certain circumstances, the right to request information and documentation obtained from academic institutions or accredited agencies or independent research organizations is reserved. Additionally, in any case, assertions contained in the comparative advertisements are required to be proved with information and documentation obtained from academic institutions or accredited agencies or independent research organizations.
As per the new provision regarding the details of the advertisements pertaining to electronic communication services, in the event of indication of internet speed and network coverage in the advertisements, the information that the guaranteed speed or network coverage may alter depending on the parameters such as infrastructure, geographical conditions, network density, used equipment, building location, shall be conveyed in a way and time period that an average consumer may duly perceive. The perception that internet speeds tested in the laboratory conditions may be achieved by all consumers shall not be created; and in the event of indication of these speeds in the advertisements, it should be stated by the voice-over or as a stabile inscription that these speeds are valid for laboratory conditions. Also, fair usage quota, speed quota or other limitations shall be stated explicitly.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.